Heart-to-Heart Contest Judges and Winners

2017 Judges

Please check back for updates to this list.

Contemporary

  •  – Agent   Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
  •  – Print Editor   Sue Grimshaw, Editor-at-Large at Penguin-Random House Ballantine, Bantam, Dell – Loveswept, Flirt
  •  – E-Pub Editor   Toni Kelley, Acquisitions Editor for Extasy Books

Romantic Suspense

  •  – Agent   Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
  •  – Print Editor   Mary Altman, Sourcebooks Romance
  •  – E-Pub Editor    Rhonda Merwarth, Carina Press

Erotica

  •  – Agent
  •  – Print Editor   Melissa Bendixen, Gallery/Simon and Schuster
  •  – E-Pub Editor   Tera Cuskaden, Entangled, Select Otherworld

Historical

  •  – Agent   Lizzie Poteet, Seymour Agency
  •  – Print Editor   Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press
  •  – E-Pub Editor   Alycia Tornetta, Entangled

Paranormal

  •  – Agent  Lane Haymont, The Tobias Literary Agency
  •  – Print Editor
  •  – E-Pub Editor   Stephanie Doig, Assistant Editor, Carina Press

YA

  •  – Agent  Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary
  •  – Print Editor  Michael Strother, Harlequin/TEEN
  •  – E-Pub Editor  Samantha McMahon, SoulMate Publishing

2016 Winners

Contemporary

  • First Place: Celeste Deveney, Only Till Midnight *
  • Second Place: Angie Hockman, The Hustler *
  • Third Place: Gabrielle Luthy, Miracle on Tenth Avenue

Erotica

  • First Place: Tanicia Bell, Daughers of Flame: Book One, The Artist
  • Second Place: Angie Ballard, Sowing Wild Oats
  • Third Place: Liz Adams, A Werewolf Christmas

Historical

  • First Place: Mary-Teresa Heath, A Marquess in the Making *
  • Second Place: Mary-Teresa Heath, At Bealtaine’s Bidding
  • Third Place: Vicky Oliver, Parlor Games

Paranormal

  • First Place: Michelle Bond, The Twenty-Eighth Kiss *
  • Second Place: Marlene Relja, Capsos Rising
  • Third Place: Tanicia Bell, Vampireling: Book One *

YA

  • First Place: Nicole Hohmann, Our Center of Gravity *
  • Second Place: Terra Rogerson, The Break-Up Instructions *
  • Third Place: Sarah Zettler, Leaving Hollow *

* request for synopsis, partial manuscript, or full manuscript


2016 Final Judges

Contemporary

  • Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency – Agent
  • Elle Keck, Harper Collins – Print Editor
  • Toni Kelley, Extasy Books – E-Pub Editor

Erotica

  • Sarah Bush, Trident Media Group – Agent
  • Adam Wilson, Gallery/Simon and Schuster – Print Editor
  • Tera Cuskaden, Entangled – E-Pub Editor

Historical

  • Tamar Rydzinski, Laura Dail Literacy Agency – Agent
  • Nicole Fisher, Avon – Print Editor
  • Alycia Tornetta, Entangled – E-Pub Editor

Paranormal

  • Lane Haymont, The Seymour Agency – Agent
  • Bethany Blair, Berkley – Print Editor
  • Stephanie Doig, Carina Press – E-Pub Editor

YA

  • Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary – Agent
  • Michael Strother, Harlequin – Print Editor
  • Samantha McMahon, SoulMate Publishing – E-Pub Editor

2015 Winners

Contemporary

  • First Place: MM Jaye, Fate Captured *
  • Second Place: Sally Brandle, A Mule, A Mob Hit and A Mountain of Trouble *
  • Third Place: Rebecca Smith, She’s Got Game

Erotica

  • First Place: Sarah Hall, Breaking My Rules *
  • Second Place: M.A. Dison, Alaska Bound *
  • Third Place: Kaytlin Rose, Changing Tides

Historical

  • First Place: Jan Lehy, The Secret Affairs of a Duke’s Daughter *
  • Second Place: Christina Alexandra, The Seduction of the Duke *
  • Third Place: Laura Davies Tilley, Green Mountain Rogue

Paranormal

  • First Place: Kameron Claire, Special Order *
  • Second Place (tie): Erica Miles, Skin
  • Second Place (tie): Therese Rittenbach, My Kind of Love
  • Third Place: Lynn Vasquez, The Ghost of James Fitzpatrick

YA

  • First Place: Roxanne Stellmacher, Queen of All Fates
  • Second Place: Janet Halpin, The Nascent Bloom
  • Third Place: Beth Barany, Dinah, Fallen Angel

* request for synopsis, partial manuscript, or full manuscript


2015 Final Judges

Contemporary

  • Jay Austin, EIC – Agent
  • Rebecca Lucash, Harper Collins – Print Editor
  • Emmanuelle Morgen, Stonesong – E-Pub Editor

Erotica

  • Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literacy Agency – Agent
  • Adam Wilson, Gallery/Simon and Schuster – Print Editor
  • Tera Cuskaden, Samhain – E-Pub Editor

Historical

  • Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency – Agent
  • Nicole Fisher, Avon – Print Editor
  • Alycia Tornetta, Entangled – E-Pub Editor

Paranormal

  • Lane Haymont, The Seymour Agency – Agent
  • Bethany Blair, Berkley – Print Editor
  • Kerri Buckley, Carina Press – E-Pub Editor

YA

  • Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary – Agent
  • Natashya Wilson, HQN – Print Editor
  • Kimberly Blythe, Omnific Publishing – E-Pub Editor

2014 Winners

Contemporary

  • First Place: Seana Shelby, Welcome Home, Katie Gallagher *
  • Second Place: Karyn Mendoza, Hot Pants for the Hotspur
  • Third Place: Tara Wyatt, Off Guard *

Historical

  • First Place: Crystal Eliot, Lessons in Scandal *
  • Second Place: Susan Hammond, How to Train Your Knight *
  • Third Place: Karen Aragon, Queen of Diamonds

Paranormal

  • First Place: Alleyne Dickens, Stalking Horse *
  • Second Place: Jennifer Hover, The Last Marine
  • Third Place: Jennifer Hover, Citadel

YA

  • First Place: Elly Takaki, The Frost King *
  • Second Place: Shannon Godwin, The Goddess Hunter
  • Third Place: David Rodeback, Love and Rules

* request for synopsis, partial manuscript, or full manuscript


2013 Winners

Contemporary

  • First Place: Christine Harvey*, In Concert
  • Second Place: Maisie Rubinstein, Rules For Burning
  • Third Place: PamelaGibson*, Balancing Act

Historical

  • First Place: Jennifer Ensor, Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal**
  • Second Place: Pat Eckhoff, Beauford’s Run
  • Third Place: Pamela Aares Westfall Bochte*, The Lady and the Patriot

Paranormal

  • First Place: Jennifer Hover, Sated
  • Second Place: Karen Bynum, Becoming**
  • Third Place: Briana MacWilliam, The Book of Dracon
  • Fourth Place: Carla Smith, A Promise Given

YA

  • First Place (Tie): Darlene Ishigo, Echo
  • First Place (Tie): Paula Garner, Phantom Limbs
  • Second Place: Karen Bynum, Running From Shadows

* SFA-RWA Member
** request for partial or full manuscript